As the sixth anniversary of the July 3rd, 2013 military coup, that overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood’s government and co-opted the popular uprisings on June 30th, 2013, approaches the Egyptian Human Rights Forum would expresses its grave concern regarding the continuous decline of the human rights situation in Egypt. This steady deterioration of social and economic rights in the aftermath of the 2011 revolution has reached its lowest level under President El-Sisi.
The Forum would like to highlight the continuous crackdown on the essential rights and freedoms of Egyptians, and in particular the right to life and the absence of the rule of law. The incumbent regime has broadened the mandate of the security and intelligence apparatus to include managing legal, economic, and media institutions. These violations, the Forum contends, have deeply scarred the country’s societal fabric, hindered the government’s capacity to provide basic necessities for its citizens, and thwarted their capacity to combat terrorism.
The Forum would like to highlight the historical statement, written by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) and signed by 13 other organizations, which was released hours before the coup, insisting that the military not leave their posts on the border or take any political stances on behalf of the opposition. The statement insisted that the military’s role was to ensure the safety of all factions.
As the Forum continues to work towards building a platform for consensus around an outline for political reform from a human right’s standpoint, we hereby present these reforms to the Egyptian public including its academics, intellectuals, activists, reformists within governmental institutions -including the military and security apparatus-, and political opposition. The outline includes a number of urgent issues that the Forum believes should be prioritized in addressing the unprecedented human rights situation in Egypt, and fostering and environment for societal reconciliation. This outline highlights five main areas for reform including: economic reform, political and institutional reform, legislative reform, criminal justice reform, necessary reforms on the road to transitional justice.
The Forum also proposes that the “Human Rights Papyrus” shape the intellectual framework for these discussions. The Papyrus was prepared by CIHRS in consultation with and agreement of 26 human rights organizations in July of 2011 in the midst of public discussions regarding the constitution at the time. The Forum has done minor editorial changes to the attached to ensure its relevance 8 years after the initial draft. The philosophy behind the Papyrus focuses on the importance of civil, political, economic, and cultural rights in accordance with international laws and conventions. The Papyrus also focuses on restricting the role of the state in interfering with the public and private spheres in a way that contradicts basic human rights.